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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

io         HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

are mates, they may not marry each other's sisters, or by-and~by
they ashamed. If man asks for food or water or anything else,
you give; if you have a little, give little, suppose you got plenty,
you, give half. Look after father and mother: never mind if you
and your wife have to go without. Give half of all your fish to
your parents : don't be mean. Don't speak bad word to mother.
Father and mother all along same as food in belly; when they
die you feel hungry and empty.' "*

Though the primitive ancestors of the Greeks are far removed
in time and distance from the savages of New Guinea, there k
little doubt that these accounts of the pubertal initiation in erne
of its latest phases convey a very fair idea of the general fashion of
the training they gave their young men. One cannot study the
educational institutions of conservative Sparta, for example,
without being forced to the conclusion that many of them had
their prototypes in just such customs as those which have been
indicated. The annual flogging of the boys entering manhood
at the altar of Artemis Orthia (to take but one instance) is an
obvious survival from savagery which has numerous parallels
among primitive peoples of all ages. Again, the threefold ritual
of Eleusisó" things shown, things done, things told ""--com-
prehends the three essential features in the ritual of all pubertal
initiations, and the laws said by St. Jerome to have been engraved
in its sanctuary urging those admitted to its mysteries ** to honour
their parents, to worship the gods by offerings, and not to eat
flesh," may be taken as a summary of the moral instruction
given to the youth on such occasions. Quite apart from particular
instances like these, the existence of the ephebiate as a means of
ethical and political education in practically every part of Greece
bears unmistakable witness to the persistent influence of the
ancient initiatory rites. It was the memory of these, preserved
in folk-lore and custom, that led the Greeks to a wise consideration
of adolescent needs and to a clear realization of the general
significance of age differences, often lacking in, modern education*

4. SPARTAN EDUCATION

V -"

\ The peculiar organization of the Spartan State, including the
educational system on which it depended for its efficiency, is
* Hutton Webster, Primitive Secrtt Societies pp. 52, 53.